Étienne Richer (PhD Virology and Immunology, 2005)
Associate Scientific Director, Canadian Institutes of Health Research Institute of Genetics (CIHR-IG)
Photo © Christian Fleury
He feels that all the opportunities to network and get engaged in the INRS community prepared him well for his professional career.
Étienne Richer completed a PhD in virology and immunology in 2005. Looking back at his time at INRS, he recalls his first interactions with researchers, the resources available on campus at the Armand-Frappier Santé Biotechnologie Research Centre, and the overriding collegial atmosphere. He also remembers the close relationships between students, faculty, administrative staff, and management. He feels that all the opportunities to network and get engaged in the INRS community prepared him well for his professional career. In fact, he advises students to take advantage of every opportunity to get involved, whether through student activities or conferences. Opportunities like these are instrumental to career development, he notes.
After gaining additional expertise in the genetics of infectious diseases from McGill University, Étienne joined pharmacoeconomics consulting firm BioMedCom as a consultant. In 2011 he joined the Canadian Institutes of Health Research Institute of Genetics (CIHR-IG), a federal health research funding agency, where he served as assistant director. Building on his experience at INRS, where he learned the importance of developing his network and his skills beyond his own specific background and research projects, Étienne now holds the position of associate scientific director of the CIHR Institute of Genetics.
According to Étienne Richer, what sets INRS apart is the strength of its network. He hopes Quebec, and Canada as a whole, will maintain and strengthen its position in health research. For that to happen, he says it will take solid research funding and greater recognition of the impact research can have on individuals and society.